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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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Web Chat: Engaging Families and Youth in Afterschool and Summer Learning

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What is the value of engaging youth and families in afterschool and summer learning settings? How can family engagement be incorporated into summer and afterschool activities? What are successful strategies for involving families in summer learning? How do you build the capacity of staff to engage youth and families? What are some strategies for linking afterschool and summer programming with the school day curriculum?

Panelists M. Elena Lopez from Harvard Family Research Project; Tara Chklovski from Iridescent; Geobany Rodriguez from Everett Boys & Girls Club; and Deepa Vasudevan and Jessica Fei, doctoral students from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, address these and related questions in a 60-minute web chat, Engaging Families and Youth in Afterschool and Summer Learning, held on June 23, 2015.

Tips from the web chat include:

  • Provide new experiences and activities not available during regular school hours in afterschool and summer learning activities;
  • Focus on activities and skill-building opportunities geared toward college and post‒high school employment when working with adolescents;
  • Build the capacity of program staff to engage youth and families by using the case method/problem-solving approach and by providing time to plan, implement, and evaluate programming; 
  • Use existing, free resources and incorporate successful strategies from other programs; and
  • Promote family engagement through trainings, translation services, and evening programming designed specifically to support and encourage the primary and lifelong educators in the child’s life.

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